How can I sum up a whirlwind weekend of travel and mishaps? In three words: hot, draining and delightful.
Last summer our oldest daughter moved to Dallas last to live with my amazing sister-in-law and this past weekend she was moving out of their house and into a house shared with 2 other girls. But she needed bedroom furniture. Simple things, a bed, dresser, desk and a few odds and ends.
I was finally going to be able to prove to my husband that my obsession with keeping furniture piled up in our storage building is worth it.
So last Thursday I rummaged around in there and found what we needed, except a bed which I have no extras of, and loaded it all into our 15-passenger van. We’ve had this van since the dawn of time and it’s got some wear and tear. But since it was supposed to rain, we decided to use it to carry the furniture so we didn’t have to figure out tarps, etc. We removed 3 of the 4 benches and everything fit with a little room to spare.
In order to tell this story, you have to know that something weird started happening with our van a couple of weeks ago. We suspect it has something to do with all of the rain we’ve been having, but who knows really. That’s just our theory. First one of the side doors wouldn’t open from the outside. The handle did nothing. So we had to reach in from the front door and pull the latch from the inside. OK, not super convenient, but we can do that. Then one of the back doors did the same thing. So now we had to crawl to the back and open that from the inside too. A bit less convenient, but onward and upward, as they say.
On Saturday morning we got up early to make the 5.5 hour drive to Dallas only to discover that the side door wouldn’t open at all. Not from the inside or the outside. So NOW we all have to get in and out of the van through the front doors and CLIMB to the back. Nice. Can you say “Redneck”?
But it got worse. Hang on.
We got to Dallas, unloaded at the new place (climbing in through the front door and crawling over all of the furniture to the back to open the door from the inside), then went to my daughter’s boyfriend’s parents house to pick up a box spring they were loaning her. “Hi, nice to meet you, thanks for letting us borrow this. Hang on while I get my 13 year old to crawl through the driver’s door to the back of the van so we can load it up.” On the way back to my daughter’s house we stopped at Sam’s Club to get a mattress….same story. He kept cheerfully crawling over the furniture to open the back door for us.
When we got back to the house to deliver the bed, my son did his thing, headed to the back of the van to open the door, and guess what. Yep. The door wouldn’t open at all. We stood there stunned. I mean, really? WE HAVE A BED BACK THERE!!!
My daughter’s boyfriend made his way inside to the back of the van and worked on it with nothing but YouTube videos and a paint can opener. The girls had NO tools. While he did that, my boys and I removed what we could through the front doors, even getting the mattress out. But there was no way we could get the box springs out. After an hour we gave up on the back door and started trying the side door. That took another half hour and I was beginning to think I was going to have to go buy a box spring, strap it to the top of my daughter’s car and just keep the boyfriend’s parent’s box spring forever in the back of my van.
Finally, after another 20 minutes, my other daughter got her tiny hand up in the side door mechanism and clicked it open. SWEET RELIEF!
Since we have never been able to it again, we think it was just a God-thing. He had mercy on us before we all fainted from heat strokes.
We took the bed out, made triple sure we didn’t need to have the door open anymore and went to close the door only to discover it wouldn’t close. Um, this might be a bigger problem.
I will spare you the rest of the details except to say that we did finally get it closed about 40 minutes later, went to get food and collapsed.
The next day we evaluated what more she needed to get her room organized and decided she needed some shelves. So I headed to IKEA (only 20 minutes away….dreamy!) and I wish you had seen us in the IKEA parking lot pushing huge boxes through the front window into the back of the van. I know people were wondering why we didn’t just open the back door and set it in.
But we do like an adventure and as much trouble as it all was, memories were made and everybody had a great time. Well, maybe not the boyfriend whose legs cramped from sitting on the floor in the back of the van for an hour. But he never complained.
I started to feel like I needed to repay him somehow. Then I remembered that I am essentially giving him my firstborn child, so I got over it.
We hung around until around 3:00 Sunday assembling IKEA furniture (I bought tools while I was out as a contribution to the girl’s house) and enjoying being together. Oh, and did I forget to mention that the A/C in my daughter’s new place was out? Uh huh. I have had my quota of heat for the summer.
When we got back home Sunday night, I was retelling the whole adventure to my husband, who sat quietly and listened to me unfold the details all about the heat and the bed and the van doors and feeling faint a few times. I told him about my daughter’s little room and how we figured out the best arrangement and got her all settled. I apologized for spending more money on her furniture than we had planned. When I finally stopped talking he just smiled at me and said, “You loved every minute of it, didn’t you?”
Yep, I sure did.